April 10, 2013: a reader sent me this link, noting that a "Fracking Sand 101" conference was hosted in La Crosse, WI, yesterday.
A basic introduction to everything frac sand mining was held in La Crosse Tuesday. It was Frac Sand 101 at the Radisson.If anyone has any interesting "takeaways" from this conference, please feel free to send them in.
A community resource educator touched on the growing industry, what's drawing sand mine operations to the region, and some of the precautions that are in place.
Right now, there are several mining operations in the area while some counties have moratoriums and other protections in place to stop the expansion.
Don alerted me to a BusinessWeek story that came out Friday, dated July 28, 2011, regarding EOG's fracking sand operations in Wisconsin.
Since Texas oil producer EOG Resources (EOG) arrived in Ken Schmitt’s Wisconsin farming community last year, the cattle breeder has marveled each time he drives by the company’s work site on his way into town. It’s not oil rigs that capture his attention. “They got one hellacious pile of sand out there,” he says.The Chippewa Herald posts a very long update on this new plant; the story is dated yesterday, July 29, 2011.
The rolling hills surrounding Chippewa County (pop. 60,000) in the northwest part of the state sit atop a deep deposit of a type of pure quartz sand coveted by the oil industry. The sand is used as part of the water and chemical mixture injected under high pressure into wells to crack oil-infused shale rock in a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The tiny grains of sand serve as wedges to prop the cracks open so oil and natural gas can flow up the well. With prices for frack sand soaring, oil companies such as EOG have begun mining their own in places such as rural Wisconsin.
The town of Howard has signed a developer’s agreement with EOG Resources LLC for operation of a sand mine.Looks like another shovel-ready job. Every time I read these stories I think of the resource-rich country we live in. Fracking sand, by the way, is not likely to be outsourced overseas. In addition to the plant itself, this will generate many, many jobs for truck manufacturers and drivers.
The agreement, approved Wednesday by the town board, runs through Dec. 31, 2031.
The pact took 14 months of negotiations between Howard (Chippewa County) and the company, and has a property value guarantee for property owners near the mine.
And it includes a stipulation that no mining, blasting or hauling from the site will be done for nearly half of the year, from May 1 through Oct. 15.
The town said the agreement is the first of its kind for the operation of a non-metallic frac sand mine in Wisconsin.
Speaking of which, I heard from a reliable source that a truck manufacturing plant on the west coast is ramping up production. They've told their blue-collar workers to start expecting more overtime, and the company has just concluded a round of new hires.
And yes, we need to develop it appropriately so that we do not destroy our country's natural beauty nor endanger our quality of life.
Meanwhile, a second company is looking to open a fracking sand mine in Wisconsin.
A second sand company is interested in opening a sand processing plant in New Auburn.
Another sand company, Superior Silica Sand, also wants a sand processing plant in New Auburn. It plans on mining in the town of Arland in Barron County.
The village of New Auburn is in both Chippewa and Barron counties.